Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Leading printing executives into the future

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Jennifer Matt on the getting real stage of web-to-print

Published on November 5, 2012

Cary Sherburne speaks with WhatTheyThink contributor Jennifer Matt about what she calls the "getting real stage" of web-to-print.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink; and I’m here with Jennifer Matt, who’s another famous WhatTheyThink contributor, writer and blogger and our resident expert web-to-print. Glad to have you here.

Jennifer Matt: Thank you, Cary.

Cary Sherburne: So, you know if I kind of think about web-to-print, you can go back to the ‘90’s and all the .com boom/bust stuff and maybe that was phase one of web-to-print, and then we got into a little more mature stage, but I think we’re really entering a third phase of web-to-print. Maybe you could either agree or disagree and comment on that.

Jennifer Matt: Well, let’s call the third phase, the getting real stage.

Cary Sherburne: Okay.

Jennifer Matt: Right? Where people are actually asking for are results not just buying software and leaving it on the shelf. And I think that if you could look at a theme for the third phase, it’s more about the web and less about print.

Cary Sherburne: Okay. And what do you mean by that?

Jennifer Matt: I mean that web-to-print; a lot of the companies in the early days came out of people thinking about how is it going to be good for printers. And now we have to focus on the customer, not the printer. I mean, not to say that having the job easily dropped into your production system isn’t important, but if nobody uses your software in the frontend, it doesn’t matter how automated it is. And so everybody’s got to think more about what’s the user interface and what’s the user experience for the customer and how are you going to drive customers to that. And I’m not talking just about B to C sites where you have to worry about search engine optimization and stuff. I’m talking about B to B sites, how are you going to get those customers to want to order from you online? ‘Cause people do this tremendous amount of effort to sell programs and sell the technology in there and then they forget that you actually have to work to get people to use it. And the software better be brilliantly easy because it’s competing with email.

Cary Sherburne: Well, yeah, and that – and people are so used to, you know, the Amazon experience, if you will, you know, you need to make it comparable.

Jennifer Matt: And self-service, right?

Cary Sherburne: Yep, self-service, yeah.

Jennifer Matt: We think of web-to-print, we try and use all these fancy terms and the reality, its self-service order entry. And only a certain segment of print belongs there, right?

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Jennifer Matt: Not the most complicated thing, you’re not going to do a three million piece cross-marketing campaign.

Cary Sherburne: Or your Annual Report.

Jennifer Matt: Or your Annual Report or, you know, you’re not going to do those things in a self-service environment. So, and there’s been a lot of companies have shown us the way that you can do a lot more than you think in a self-service environment.

Cary Sherburne: That’s great. And you have a new book out, right?

Jennifer Matt: I do.

Cary Sherburne: It’s called surprisingly, Web2 Print.

Jennifer Matt: Don’t want to make any mysteries here.

Cary Sherburne: that’s right. And so people can get access to this through EDSF.org, which is the proceeds go…

Jennifer Matt: Everything goes to EDSF, which is a scholarship fund for the graphic arts community, which I’m a board member of.

Cary Sherburne: Great. And I’m, you know, this will give them – this will give the readers kind of a good primer on this phase of Web-to-print and what they should be thinking about.

Jennifer Matt: I think so. I think the biggest mistake I would like to correct in the industry is printers buying the wrong product. And I don’t mean like the product was just bad, it was just wrong for them.

Cary Sherburne: Wrong for them.

Jennifer Matt: Right? So they didn’t look at it. I just see two questions you got to ask: who are you targeting on the web? I know it sounds really simple and stupid, but which customers are you going after ‘cause that will determine which technology you pick. And then the second question is, what are you trying to sell?

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Jennifer Matt: Right? If you’re trying to sell business documents there’s a couple vendors that are really good at that, if you’re trying to sell photo products, very different vendors. What if you’re trying to sell business documents and photo products? There’s a smaller list of vendors that do that, but so many people go out and shop and they just get demos from everybody. But they don’t, they don’t look and go, these are the four products I want to sell online and I want to show – I want you to show me how you would support those four products. So they’re an oversize printer and they go out and buy a system that doesn’t know how to calculate price based on area.

Cary Sherburne: Right, right, yeah…

Jennifer Matt: I mean, that just has happened.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, so – so some very, very simple questions that they should be thinking about, but they aren’t often thinking about. So that’s – it’s a good.

Jennifer Matt: Yep, gets the terminology correct in that book and just tell you, goes through, here are the questions you should ask to avoid the most common mistakes when you purchase it.

Cary Sherburne: Great. And congratulations for, well writing the book, ‘cause that’s not easy, but also for supporting EDSF in that way. It’s a terrific organization. Thanks.

Jennifer Matt: Thank you.

 

Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: EFI's Guy Gecht on Graph Expo and Their Must See 'Em Success

EFI's Guy Gecht on Graph Expo and Their Must See 'Em Success

Published: September 22, 2014

Cary Sherburne talks to EFI's Guy Gecht about the upcoming Graph Expo event and winning 11 Must See 'Em Awards - a new record. They discuss specific products and the reasons for their success.

 

Video preview: How Metallic Effects Help Brands Stand Out in Packaging

How Metallic Effects Help Brands Stand Out in Packaging

Published: September 22, 2014

Mark Geeves, Director of Sales and Marketing for Color Logic, talks to Pat Henry about why metallic effects are important in brand packaging. Mark also discusses the ways in which Color Logic makes metallic effects more productive and easier to implement.

 

Video preview: Frank Visits Former RIT Students and Partners at VariDirect Solutions

Frank Visits Former RIT Students and Partners at VariDirect Solutions

Published: September 19, 2014

Frank joins us from the New York offices of VariDirect Solutions, a company started by two RIT graduates. We learn about the history of the new company and their expansion into wide format printing.

 

Video preview: I Keep Buying New Web-to-Print Solutions, They All Stink!

I Keep Buying New Web-to-Print Solutions, They All Stink!

Published: September 19, 2014

Jennifer Matt talks about what might be the cause of your repeated failure with web-to-print solutions.

 

Video preview: MBO America Helps Unitecblue Develop Innovative New Products

MBO America Helps Unitecblue Develop Innovative New Products

Published: September 18, 2014

Juan Sanchez, Plant Manager at Unitecblue in Argentina, talks to Cary Sherburne about the business and how MBO America is helping them develop innovative new products.

 

Video preview: MBO America Helps Unitecblue Develop Innovative New Products (Spanish)

MBO America Helps Unitecblue Develop Innovative New Products (Spanish)

Published: September 18, 2014

Juan Sánchez , Gerente de Planta en Unitecblue en Argentina , conversa con Cary Sherburne sobre el negocio y cómo MBO America está ayudando a desarrollar nuevos productos innovadores.

 

View More Videos

 

Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2014 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved